This article originally appeared on VICE India.
As India gears up for lockdown 3.0, its illegal weed industry has been one of the worst-hit black markets as dealers try to duck from patrolling policemen on high alert. During this time, many have continued to peddle their stock by skulking around grocery stores or trying to sneak their stash into the country through sleeping bags. However, one of the most ingenious tactics that has emerged as a result of this lockdown is courtesy the food delivery agents whose services count as essential, doubling up as weed dealers.
Last month, the Interpol had issued a statement warning all its member countries about this new trend that saw drug dealers posing as food delivery agents to bring people everything including cocaine, ketamine, ecstasy and cannabis in countries like Germany and Malaysia. Now, it seems like this sneaky method is also making waves in India.
On April 14, two food delivery executives in Bengaluru were caught selling marijuana on the side as they moved about freely on their company bikes. Then, on May 3, just a day before lockdown restrictions were eased, a 25-year-old food delivery agent in Chennai was also busted for selling weed as a side hustle. What’s surprising about this new pattern is that those who have been caught are not hardcore dealers posing as food delivery agents. Instead these are Indians trained and employed in the food industry who have probably had to pick up peddling on the side after India’s restaurant business took a heavy hit due to coronavirus, and because people have continued to avoid ordering food online.
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